Penn State 76, Colgate 65: Rasir Bolton and Mike Watkins Carry Nittany Lions to Victory

By Matt de Bear on December 8, 2018 at 6:20 pm
Head coach Patrick Chambers
Linsey Fagan - Roar Lions Roar
Box Score
  1st Half 2nd Half FINAL
COLGATE 30 35 65
PENN STATE 41 35 76

Led by freshman Rasir Bolton's 27 and Mike Watkins's 18, Penn State knocked off Colgate 76-65 in the Bryce Jordan Center on Saturday afternoon. The 11-point victory gets the Nittany Lions (5-4, 0-2) back into the win column after a two-game losing streak to open conference play.

Game Leaders
Scoring [PSU] Bolton (27)
[COL] Rayman (15)
Rebounds [PSU] Watkins (16)
[COL] Rayman (7)
Assists [PSU] Reaves (5)
[COL] Ivanauskas (4)
Steals [PSU] Reaves (3)
[COL] Burns, Richardson (3)
Blocks [PSU] Watkins (2)
[COL] Rayman (2)

Bolton made his second career start and was downright dominant from three-point territory, hitting on seven of nine attempts from beyond the arc to pace the Penn State offense. Those seven threes tie Bolton with Billy Oliver and 13 others for third-most in program history in a single game. Only Shep Garner (eight against Boston College in 2015) and Pete Lisicky (nine against Penn in 1996) have recorded better nights from deep.

Watkins, who missed the first five games of the year, and appeared as a reserve in the last three, made his first start of the season and looked much like his old self. Those 18 points went along with 16 rebounds and two blocks. Lamar Stevens (12) was the only other Nittany Lion to hit double figures. He did record his fourth double-double of his season, not to be denied a major impact on the game.

Penn State was in control for much of the game, but a second-half dry spell pulled the visiting Raiders to as close as three points on three separate occasions. However, the Nittany Lions closed the game on an 11-2 run to wrap things up in the final 2:24. That coincided with Rapolas Ivanauskas fouling out for Colgate. He was responsible for 15 points and seven boards before leaving the game.

The Nittany Lions are off until next Saturday, Dec. 15 when they will face N.C. State at 2:00 p.m. ET in Atlantic City, New Jersey as part of the Basketball Hall of Fame Boardwalk Classic.